Town Square

Survey shows growing angst about development, parking

Original post made on Feb 4, 2014

Palo Alto residents are feeling rosy these days when it comes to jobs and personal fortunes, but smiles quickly turn to frowns when the subjects of parking and new development are brought up, a new survey indicates.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014, 4:38 PM


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Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 4, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Important to note that 1200 surveys were mailed out, but there were only 337 completed.

Web Link
page 76: The confidence interval for the City of Palo Alto survey is no
greater than plus or minus five percentage points around any given percent reported for the entire sample (337 completed surveys).

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Posted by Effete
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 4, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Most Palo Altans did NOT receive a survey, they really should have mailed out about 5,000 in order to get a better cross section.

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Posted by Told 'em, They Weren't Listening
a resident of Green Acres
on Feb 4, 2014 at 6:50 pm

"aims to get residents involved in a conversation about the city's long-term future and reach out to people who don't typically attend council meetings. Planning Director Hillary Gitelman called the new initiative an "an opportunity to engage in a community conversation"

This past year has seen a historic level of participation from Palo Altans across town, many of us new to participation and feeling like we put a lot of work into providing feedback (many of us warned the Council about overdevelopment concerns growing long before Measure D) that has been almost utterly ignored.

Why ignore the many people who are trying to participate in order to reach out to those who aren't? It's probably the same inclination that led the City Council to spend an extra $600,000 on the election instead of reading the handwriting on the wall and deciding to overturn the ordinance based on the successful referendum (and the historic levels of participation leading up to it): they are good at ignoring those whose opinions they don't like, and believe the silent ones are all in their camp if only they can get them to say so. We saw this a lot during and even after the Maybell situation, I listened to the most amazing mental contortions by councilmembers who figured both before and after that the majority in Palo Alto really were in favor of PC's and high-density development in our neighborhoods.

I have a clue for the Council: it's not an honest conversation if you never intend to be changed by what you hear back. It's downright insulting to have put so much work into trying to participate this past year only to be ignored and told, NOW we want to listen, only we want to listen to other people, still not any of YOU.

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Posted by Silly
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 5, 2014 at 10:57 am

So will the City have a another broad-brush "mission statement" meeting about resident input and priorities or will the finally get us some specifics about HOW they hope to get community input?

They continue to ignore suggestions, our transportation manager writes what I called "lengthy but largely irrelevant responses" to complaints and many of our top managers (Utilities and Transportation) refuse to respond to reporters' questions.

Sure Give us your input. Feel free to bay at the moon, too, for all the good it will do.

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Posted by sheri
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 5, 2014 at 12:12 pm

"Told 'em, They Weren't Listening" has it spot on. More than once, some council members has indicated they don't want to hear from those who've been bothering to participate for 10+ years, but rather only new voices. Most discouraging to those who've studied the issues and bothered to participate in what's supposed to be a democratic process. How about a core value of respecting one's constituents?

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Posted by New Voices??
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 5, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Well, I was a new voice, someone who had never attended a city council meeting or spoke at one until the "traffic-calming" exercise on Arastradero. They didn't listen to me and others about Arastradero, & they didn't listen about Maybell either.

I attended several council meetings and I looked council members right in the eye when residents spoke. When a council member heard something they didn't want to hear, they just tuned out. And, if the so-called new voices say what they don't want to hear, the cycle of ignoring inconvenient facts will repeat. They need to go. All of them.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2014 at 3:47 pm

I feel for the Council. Instead of residents, they should survey the Keenan Land Company, I bet they'd be happier with that data.